Take Your Hooptie To The Track
Every once in a while I think to myself, “Why can’t I track my beater?” The easy answer is that its stupid and my beater will most likely grenade itself at the apex of Turn One, no matter the track or conditions. I’m also broke, don’t own a decent helmet anymore and econo-suck tires, although only $20-a-pop at the used tire bin, wouldn’t make for a fun outing. Not to mention I wouldn’t pass tech at any arrive and drive drag night or autocross, let alone a big scary racetrack like Sebring.
When Life Hands You LeMons…
Lemons and ChumpCar exist for the beaters, the hoonigans, and the almost broke. They’re a fantastic way to have fun racing on a budget and a great way to pass tech just enough to take your hooptie out on some seriously iconic tracks (Daytona, Barber and VIR anyone?). Despite requiring its participants to adhere to a “strict” budget they do require top notch safety equipment because even though you say your rust bucket is safe, nobody wants to fall through the floorpans on the racetrack.
Even though you will be shelling out some hard earned dough on safety equipment it doesn’t matter what engine fits in what, so long as you can keep it running for 24hrs. Chrysler powered E30 or Saab powered Nissan 300zx anyone?
Our Japanese brothers have taken the concept of cheap racing and “Missile Cars” to a whole different level. They’ve figured out a way to make an old Dodge van stick to a racetrack well enough to make it fun and exciting instead of stupid and dangerous. Alright, I’ll admit Brembos and sequential transmissions aren’t exactly cheap, or beater-ish; that these vans are more rat-rod or missile car than hopped up hooptie, but they’re still cool right?!?!
Check out the short documentary below to learn more about these bad-ass vans!